The Dark Side of Modeling.

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Something that has been bugging me lately is the direction the fashion industry is going, especially in small towns and cities like mine.

When I first started modeling back in June, I thought everything was great. I thought I would do some research on modeling agencies in my area, get some call backs, get signed, and be on my way. But sadly, things didn’t go quite as planned.

I want to write this blog today as a warning for any girl looking to get a break in the modeling industry. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, but I am saying there are some things you must be careful about when first starting out. And hopefully after reading this, you can learn from my mistakes.

First of all, when finding a local agency, do lots and lots of research on them! Especially if the agency is a local or small town/city one, but also be just as careful in large cities too. There are far to many (bad) or (fake) modeling agencies who are only to willing to rob you of a couple thousand dollars.

So how do you tell if an agency is fake? When I signed to my first agency, I did lot’s of research online. I Facebooked them, I talked to other models represented there, I looked up reviews on google, and everything came back perfectly fine. tabithashoot2

What I didn’t realize was that agencies are smart. They know you’ll be doing the research online and are all to prepared with fake reviews and news feed making it seem like they have a lot of business. You have to be smarter!

My biggest mistake I overlooked when signing was this: never should an agency ask you for money up front. One thing you need to remember is the agency is making an investment in you, not the other way around. Therefore, any photo shoots, even for beginning portfolio work, should not cost you any money.

If they ever say you have to pay a certain amount for your portfolio pictures, or to get onto their website, or any other reason for payment, know that something is wrong.

From: http://denisesalceda.com/how-to-avoid-model-agency-scams/

Another thing you don’t want to do is be to eager or naive. This is another mistake I made because being to excited when an agent says, “I can get you to New York or Paris”, definitely clouds your judgment. This way, you end up making decisions based on your emotions instead of thinking it through.

Remember that you as a model are just as much of a business person as the agent, so don’t get intimidated when going for an interview. Listen to what the agent is saying, read the contract through and take your time reading it. Have another third party look over the contract before signing it as well.

All of these important tips are mistakes I made going into my first signing, and I am still caught up in the mess of it. Therefore, please take this advice and go into any interview or signing with as much research on the agent and agency as possible, have a clear head and good judgment, and don’t let phrases with “New York”, “Venice”, or “Paris” cloud your judgment.

Here are some helpful links and videos:

Avoid Model scams, Modeling Advice, Modeling frauds

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask!

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See What’s Trending this Wednesday…

One of the most popular shoe brands among the young adult population is now suing 31 companies for making a knock-off version of the footwear. That’s right, converse (or Chuck Taylors) are suing companies like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Sketchers in a fight to get these brands off the shelves.

Getty Images A Converse ‘Chuck Taylor’ sneaker sits on a shelf in New York City. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102086797#.

Converse first started making the ever-popular shoe in 1917, being introduced to star basketball players (hence the ‘All-Star’). In 1920, the company joined with basketball player, and then spokesman for the shoe, Chuck Taylor.

The shoe became even more popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when people began wearing them as a fashion statement over an athletic shoe. You can even see the shoes being worn in popular movies by actors such as John Travolta  in Grease, and Sylvester Stallone in Rocky.

The New York Times reports:

“Now Converse, the century-old American footwear maker, says some of the core elements of its widely recognizable Chuck Taylor sneakers — black stripes and a rubber toe topper — are being co-opted by Walmart, Kmart, Skechers and others. And it is taking them to court, accusing 31 companies of trademark infringement in 22 separate lawsuits filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Brooklyn.

But while Converse, which has been owned by Nike since 2003, is suing for monetary damages, its main priority is getting impostors off the shelves. To that end, the company is pursuing a separate complaint with the International Trade Commission, which has the power to stop any shoes considered to be counterfeit from entering the country.

“The goal really is to stop this action,” said Jim Calhoun, the Converse chief executive. “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon.”

Converse then hit a low point in the 1990’s, almost filing for bankruptcy when the brand took a huge leap in the right direction by joining with Nike company. Nike was able to take converse to a whole new level after buying the company in 2003.

The New York Times reports that the Converse brand makes up about $1.7 billion of Nike’s $28 billion in sales on average per year. Not to bad!

It’s safe to say that almost everybody in this generation owns a pair of the all-American sneaker, even if they’re tucked away deep in your closet. The shoe has become an icon for the American teen, sporting a more rebellion and relaxed style.

Personally, I have two pairs of Converse that I absolutely could not live without. And yes, they are the real All-Star Converse brand.

So, it will be interesting to see how this case turns out, and if we will no longer be seeing the ‘knock-offs’ on the shelves at different retail stores.

Let me know what you think about this case or how the outcome should be!

#MasterandMuseMonday

Okay, my hashtag this Monday may not be one you’ve seen before, but’s it’s a hashtag that stands for evolution and change in the fashion world.

Now more then ever, pollution and the increasing amount of waste and destruction in our world is really important. It’s hard to combine environmentally friendly and fashionable together, but that’s exactly what the founder of Master and Muse is doing.

From MasterandMuse Website Amber Valletta
From MasterandMuse Website
Amber Valletta

Amber Valletta, founder of Master and Muse, has created a one-stop fashion shop for all things high-fashion, but also manufacture friendly. This way, people have an option to shop clothes that are both fashionable and come from a reliable source, good quality, and is good for them AND the community.

Found on Amber’s website is:

 “Master & Muse by Amber Valletta provides a fun, accessible and informative one-stop-shop for those super stylish, conscientious shoppers who want to buy better – secure in the knowledge that the clothes and accessories they are purchasing are good for them, their family, and the community at large.”

You can learn more about the designers she collaborates with, look through her seasonal lines (check out her current fall/winter 2014 line), learn more about the company and about Amber. Oh yay! You can also shop Master and Muse clothing and do the world a good deed!